Water is essential for plant growth. Without enough water, plants will start to show signs of stress. These signs can vary depending on the plant species, but some common indicators of underwatering include drooping leaves, brown leaf tips, and wilting.


Drooping Leaves

One of the most obvious signs of underwatering is drooping leaves. When a plant is thirsty, its leaves will start to droop as the plant loses water. The leaves may also curl or fold in on themselves.

Brown Leaf Tips

Another common sign of underwatering is brown leaf tips. This is because the tips of the leaves are the first to lose water. The browning may start at the tips and then progress down the leaves.


Wilting is a more severe sign of underwatering. When a plant wilts, it means that its leaves have lost so much water that they can no longer support their own weight. Wilted leaves will usually perk back up after the plant is watered, but if the plant is allowed to wilt for too long, it may die.

Other Signs

In addition to drooping leaves, brown leaf tips, and wilting, there are other signs that your plants may be underwatered. These signs include:

  • Slow growth
  • Smaller leaves
  • Leaves that feel paper-thin and crispy
  • Wrinkled leaves (on succulent plants)
  • Pooling water in the pot

How to Fix Underwatering

If you think your plants are underwatered, the first step is to water them thoroughly. Water until the water runs out of the drainage holes in the pot. After watering, check the soil moisture regularly to make sure that the plants don’t dry out again.

Preventing Underwatering

The best way to prevent underwatering is to water your plants regularly. The frequency of watering will vary depending on the plant species and the climate. However, as a general rule, you should water your plants when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.

You can also help to prevent underwatering by:

  • Using a pot with drainage holes
  • Planting your plants in well-draining soil
  • Placing your plants in a location where they will receive bright, indirect sunlight


By knowing the signs of underwatering, you can help to keep your plants healthy and thriving. If you notice any of the signs listed in this article, water your plants immediately. With proper care, your plants will be happy and healthy for years to come.